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 Community Profile


Community Profile

First Nation Reserve


Received Band Status April 15, 1985
Band No. 234
Received Reserve Status November 1998
Size 20.5 square miles or 5,301 hectares

Language


The people of Wawakapewin use two languages in their daily living, Oji-Cree (Ojibway and Cree) and English. The majority of people are fluent in both languages and some still write in syllabics.

History



The history or Wawakapewin has been handed down through oral tradition from community Elders. The Wawakapewuk are decendants of the people who lived and used this land and its resources for at least 7,000 years. The people of Wawakapewin still maintain the traditional activities of hunting, fishing, trapping and plant gathering.
One of the Frogg Clans direct ancestors was a signatory to Treaty 9 in 1905.
The signing of the Adhesion to Treaty No. 9 at Big Trout Lake in 1929 identified the Wawakapewuk as part of the Big Trout Lake Band were allotted a Treaty payment of $4.00 per person per year.
In 1947 the then Department of Lands and Forests insitituted a trap line system whereby each trapper was required to pay a fee and trap within a specified area to sell their furs.
Big Trout Lake became the central point for the provision of services that had been identified in the Treaty Adhesion; such as health, education, social assistance and the provision of goods and materials. Big Trout Lake is 65 Km northeast of Wawakapewin and this posed an extreme hardship for the people having to travel between Wawakapewin and Big Trout Lake. The Wawakapewuk people generally only traveled to Big Trout Lake in the summer to attend the summer festival and to collect their Treaty payment.
In 1964, at least two new communities were formed from those communities associated with the Reserve at Big Trout Lake and in 1976 other communities were established in Wapekeka, Kasabonika, Bearskin Lake, Muskrat Dam and Kingfisher Lake First Nations establishing themselves as separate Bands and eventually gaining reserve status.
The Wawakapewuk people still maintain direct family ties and kinship with these surrounding communities. During these activities most of the Wawakapewuk people decided to reside in Big Trout Lake year round and travel to their traditional lands only for hunting, fishing and trapping.
In 1972, three Wawakapewuk families returned to their traditional lands on the eastern shoreline of Long Dog Lake to live and to re-establish the community of Wawakapewin. Wawakapewin received Band status in 1985 and Reserve status in 1998.

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